The Delines – The Imperial (2019) [FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

The Delines – The Imperial (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 41:29 minutes | 737 MB | Genre:  Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © DECOR

The Imperial is far from a standard rulebook-revising nostalgia turn. Both the stark realism of the romance-averse blue-collar settings (here, the narrators are too busy hustling for a living to croon sugar-coated rhymes about romantic ideals) and potent musical left-turns (such as the stripped-bare minimalism of the weary-beyond-words “Roll Back My Life”) make The Imperial sound thoroughly authentic, as opposed to a trip through someone else’s back pages.

Before asserting themselves as a real group with real members and a real future, The Delines were simply the union of singer Amy Boones from Damnations, Cory Gray on the keyboard and trumpet, Tucker Jackson from Minus 5 on the pedal steel and of course the three ex-Richmond Fontaine members: Sean Oldham, Freddie Trujillo and their leader Willy Vlautin. It is the latter of the bunch (Vlautin) that signed off on the ten songs from The Imperial. Whilst Colfax, The Delines’ first album released in 2014, was rather experimental, this vintage 2019 record comes after a year of touring, the consolidation of the line-up and months of repetition. Recorded in Portland and produced by John Morgan Askew, The Imperial shines with perfect chemistry between Boone’s warm and sensual voice (sometimes reminiscent of Dusty Springfield, Bobbie Gentry and Rickie Lee Jones) and Vlautin’s wonderful writing. Draped in a mix of soul with a drop of country, these songs with their very cinematographic nature seem to be out of their time. There is enough here to suggest this record is in it for the long run.  – Marc Zisman

1. Cheer up Charley (03:26)
2. The Imperial (05:23)
3. Where Are You Sonny? (03:58)
4. Let’s Be Us Again (04:00)
5. Roll Back My Life (03:30)
6. Eddie & Polly (04:05)
7. Holly the Hustle (05:46)
8. That Old Haunted Place (03:05)
9. He Don’t Burn for Me (05:13)
10. Waiting on the Blue (03:03)